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Early Image made by uranium rays. Image of a hand. Rutherford & Soddy. at McGill. Professor Emeritus M.A. Whitehead Director, Canadian and International Constituency Group Chair of Awards Committee. Releasing the Power of the Atom Early Canadian Connections. Soddy at McGill 1902-1904.

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Rutherford & Soddy

at McGill

Professor Emeritus M.A. Whitehead

Director, Canadian and International Constituency Group

Chair of Awards Committee



at McGill


World tour 1903

MacDonald Chemistry

Building, McGill




MacDonald Physics

Building, McGill


28th. March, 1901

“The existence of Particles

smaller than Atoms”:

Soddy then Rutherford:


Continued next week!


0.8 cm/sec



Thorium emanation

half life =1 min.




Better separation

Thorium X

Thorium X

Soddy & Rutherford Research

“Soddy don’t call it transmutation!”

1) Disintegration theory 1902

2) Radioactivity of thorium 1902


3) The cause and nature of radioactivity, 1902

4) The gaseous emanation from thorium found to be like argon

5) Condensation, 1902: thorium emanation condensed at

–150oC, i.e. a real gas

Soddy & Rutherford apparatus 1902, to condense emanations


6) Radioactivity of uranium, 1903

7) The half-life of radon, 1903

8) Radioactive change, 1903

(a) radium, thorium and uranium radioactivity gave new matter

(b) radioactive decay function of several types of matter change

(c) radioactivity was an atomic phenomenon


You learned to count as far as three;

And saw that Heat was got from Fire.

Moved into Theory, went higher,

You did not know it, but you were

The first Research Professor, sir,

Contained, within your hairy Body,

A noble Rutherford or Soddy.

Nay, -- what is more, -- your Lot was rude

But showed the College attitude,

You made it an unswerving Rule

To disregard the Common Fool,

You overlooked the silly chaff

Of Laughing Jackass, gay Giraffe,

You heeded not the caustic Smile

Of Dinosaur or Crocodile,

Passed undisturbed the Ridicule

Of comic Crow or haw-haw Mule, --

In short, in Culture's earliest Span

You acted like an Oxford Man

Stephen Leacock


Lectureship in Physical and Radio Chemistry at Glasgow University.1904-1914.

1) Book delayed because of Rutherford’s

2) Advised the Cassel Cyanide Company of Glasgow: 50 kilograms of uranyl nitrate allowed proof that radium grew from uranium.

3)With Alexander Fleck, discovered

(a) many short-lived radioactive elements

(b) chemically inseparable

(c) spectroscopically identical

(d) disintegrated differently.

Dr Margaret Todd suggested ‘isotope’.

Soddy immediately adopted the term.1913


SPLITTING THE ATOM 1932:Rutherford

To penetrate the nucleus, Cockcroft and Walton built a voltage multiplier: they build a potential of 800 kilovolts. The potential accelerated protons down an evacuated tube eight feet long. In 1932 they put a lithium target at the end of the tube and found that protons disintegrated a lithium nucleus into two alpha


John Cockcroft, Ernest Rutherford, and E.T.S. Walton.


Rutherford & Soddy



The Nobel Prize in Chemistry







beta decay

1899; Rutherford discovered uranium compounds to produce three kinds of radiation;according to their penetrations named a, b, and g.

W. Pauli (1930)

E. Fermi (1933)



By analogy with quantum theory, predicted neutrino’s weak interaction with matter

From non conservation of energy and momentum in beta decay